Tesla lost about $140 million (£113.5 million) in 2022 due to its Bitcoin investments, as reported in the company’s financial documents. The electric vehicle manufacturer reported to the US government agency that it had lost $204 million on Bitcoin but had recovered $64 million through trading. In early 2021, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the company would accept Bitcoin as payment, and the company promptly invested $1.5 billion into the cryptocurrency.
Several weeks later, Tesla reversed course and sold most of its Bitcoin holdings. It has accumulated about $184 million in Bitcoin so far. Mr. Musk has been a prominent advocate of cryptocurrencies, and his social media posts have been known to spark intense trading.
As a result of Tesla’s Bitcoin purchase in February 2021, the price of the cryptocurrency jumped by over 25%, reaching a new all-time high of $48,000. It gained ground once more in March 2021 after Mr. Musk tweeted that Tesla would start accepting Bitcoin for car purchases. Americans could now place orders with a Bitcoin deposit of just $100.
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More than 10% of its value was wiped out in less than two months after the company reversed course on the plan, citing climate change concerns as the reason. UK Treasury estimates that Bitcoin’s annual global energy consumption is about 39% of UK’s; other estimates put it even higher. After reaching a high of nearly $70,000 in November 2022, Tesla decided to sell off most of its holdings, sending the price plummeting by more than 50%.